Want to know what the pilgrims ate back then? Take a tour back in time and try these pilgrim recipes for some flavors of the past.
The Thanksgiving feast we know today is nothing like what the pilgrims had 391 years ago. Their pickings were much slimmer, but they were able to make a beautiful feast that left them satisfied and full. Read on and experience how pilgrims feasted at the first Thanksgiving.
What Did The Pilgrims Really Eat? | Ye Olde Thanksgiving Pilgrim Recipes
I’ve always wondered what the pilgrims ate. As far as I know, things were prepared simpler back then… Leaving aesthetics much to be desired. But hey, they only had so many ingredients, and definitely no supermarkets, so let’s give them some credit for creativity! I did a little research on “what do pilgrims eat?” If you’re as curious as I am on what these early settlers ate with little to no access to all the cooking tools and condiments we have today… then you’ve come to the right place.
1. Roasted Butternut Squash
Okay, so this may be a modern way to prepare this but I’m sure everyone will enjoy this roasted butternut squash. The leeks, bacon, and a smoky-sweet apple glaze bring the wonderful fall flavors together.
2. Stewed Pumpkin
Just gather all the ingredients and make this stewed pumpkin in just one pot. It’s a standing dish that’s perfect fall and winter.
Have a taste of history by making these simple biscuits the civil war soldiers ate. A hardtack is so easy even your kids can make them.
4. Turkey Sobaheg
In simpler terms, turkey stew.
- 1/2 pound dry beans (white, red, brown or spotted kidney-shaped beans)
- 1/2 pound white hominy corn or yellow samp or coarse grits, available from
- Gonsalves or Goya at many grocery stores
- 1 pound turkey meat (legs or breast, with bone and skin)
- 3 quarts cold water
- 1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1/2 pound winter squash, trimmed and cubed
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seed meat, pounded to a coarse flour (or pounded walnuts)
- dried onion and/or garlic to taste
- clam juice or salt to taste (optional)
Combine dried beans, corn, turkey, seasonings and water in a large pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, turn down to a very low simmer, and cook for about 2 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally to be certain bottom is not sticking.
When dried beans are tender but not mushy, break up turkey meat, removing skin and bones. Add green beans and squash, and simmer on low heat until they are tender.
— Homesteading (@HomesteadingUSA) November 7, 2016
5. Boiled Bread
Yes, boiled bread. Before people had ovens, they had to boil their bread.
- 1 quart slightly boiled water
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, blueberries, and/or currants
- 1/2 cup crushed nuts or seeds (walnuts, hazelnuts or sunflower seeds)
- Maple syrup or sugar to taste (optional)
Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix thoroughly. After mixing, slowly add a spoonful at a time of slightly boiled water. When the mix is thick enough to be sticky, shape round patties (about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick). Return water to a slight rolling boil and drop in 1 or 2 patties, carefully making sure they do not stick to the bottom. Remove bread when they begin to float.
6. Curd Fritters
They did it a little differently in the past but here’s a modern take on this pilgrim recipe you can follow today.
- 5 eggs
- curds (ricotta, cottage or other soft cheese)
- wheat or corn flour
- cooking oil or butter
Make a thin batter with the eggs and equal amounts of curds and flour. Season with salt. Heat a small amount of cooking oil in your frying pan. When the oil is hot, pour in the batter and tip the pan to make the batter spread very thinly. They should be like crepes. When brown on one side, use your knife to flip them over or slide them onto a plate and flip them over into the pan. Add more oil to the pan when needed. Serve with sugar sprinkled on the top if you wish.
Something similar to oatmeal or porridge prepared by the Wampanoags.
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- 1 cup strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or a combination of all three
- 1/2 crushed walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds or a combination of all three
- 1-quart water
- maple syrup or sugar to taste (optional)
Combine everything in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook in medium heat with continuous stirring for about 15 minutes.
8. Indian Meal Pudding
Need some classic pilgrim comfort food? Then try making this yummy Indian meal pudding recipe. So named after the corn meal the natives gave them upon arrival.
9. Easy Thanksgiving Pilgrim’s Hat Cookie Treats
Okay, so maybe the pilgrims didn’t eat these yummy Thanksgiving pilgrim’s hat cookie treats but it’s actually pretty easy, so it’s sure to be a definite winner.
Source: Plimoth Org
Want to see what food the pilgrims probably ate for Thanksgiving? Check out this video from Top Tenz:
Our Thanksgiving menu today is already totally different, yet the festivities and the spirit still remain the same. No matter what is in store for your Thanksgiving menu this year, be sure to prepare it with a more grateful heart.
Want to have a homesteader’s squash recipe? Click here.
What do you think of these pilgrim recipes? Will you give it a try? Let me know in the comment section below.